Institute of Astronomy

Murdin Prize

A generous donation from Professor Paul Murdin has allowed the Institute of Astronomy to establish an annual Murdin Prize for the best published journal paper produced by a current Ph.D. student.

Students who are within three years of the start of their Ph.D. are eligible for the prize.  A committee assesses submissions and results are usually announced by the middle of September.

2021 - Jointly awarded to:

Roger de Belsunce - “Inference of the optical depth to reionization from low multipole temperature and polarisation Planck data”. 

Andrew Everall - “Completeness of the Gaia-verse - IV. The astrometry spread function of Gaia DR2”.

Zephyr Penoyre - “Binary Deviations from Signal Object Astrometry”.

Rosie Talbot - “Blandford-Znajek jets in galaxy formation simulations: method and implementation”.    


2020 - Jointly awarded to:

Daniel Muthukrishna - "RAPID: Early Classification of Explosive Transients Using Deep Learning". 2019PASP..131k8002M (

Anjali Piette - "Considerations for Atmospheric Retrieval of High-Precision Brown Dwarf Spectra".  (

Amy Rankine - "BAL and non-BAL quasars: continuum, emission, and absorption properties establish a common parent sample". (

Luis Welbanks - "Mass–Metallicity Trends in Transiting Exoplanets from Atmospheric Abundances of H2O, Na, and K".  (


2019 - Jointly awarded to :

Sophie Koudmani - “Fast and energetic AGN-driven outflows in simulated dwarf galaxies” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 484, Issue 2, p.2047-2066 April 2019

Inigo Zubeldia - “Cosmological constraints from Planck galaxy clusters with CMB lensing mass bias calibration”


2018 - Jointly awarded to:

Nicholas Henden - "The FABLE simulations: A Feedback Model for Galaxies, Groups and Clusters", 2018MNRAS.479.5385H

Peter Kosec - "Evidence for a Variable Ultrafast Outflow in the Newly Discovered Ultraluminous Pulsar NGC 300 ULX-1", 2018MNRAS.479.3978K

GyuChul Myeong - "Discovery of New Retrograde Substructures: the Shards of w Centauri?", 2018MNRAS.478.5449M


2017 - Jointly awarded to:

Adam Jermyn ​- "Tidal heating and stellar irradiation of Hot Jupiters", 2017MNRAS.469.1768J

Ryan MacDonald ​- "HD 209458b in New Light: Evidence of Nitrogen Chemistry, Patchy Clouds and Sub-Solar Water", 2017MNRAS.469.1979M

​Bjoern Soergel - "Detection of the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect with DES Year 1 and SPT", 2016MNRAS.461.3172S


2016Jointly awarded to:

Sebastian Marino – “Exocometary gas in the HD 181327 debris ring”, 2016MNRAS.460.2933M

Gabriel Torrealba – “The feeble giant. Discovery of a large and diffuse Milky Way dwarf galaxy in the constellation of Crater'', 2016MNRAS.459.2370T


2015Luca Matra - "CO mass upper limits in the Fomalhaut ring - the importance of NLTE excitation in debris discs and future prospects with ALMA", 2015, MNRAS 447, 3936.


2014 Jointly awarded to:

Thomas Collett - “Cosmological Constraints from the double source plane lens SDSSJ0946+1006” arXiv:1403.5278, 2014MNRAS.443..969C

Tiago Costa - “The environment of bright QSOs at z ˜ 6: star-forming galaxies and X-ray emission. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 439, Issue 2, p.2146-2174, 2014MNRAS.439.2146C


2013Erin Kara - "The Closest Look at 1H0707-495: X-ray Reverberation Lags with 1.3 Ms of Data", 2013MNRAS.428.2795K 


2012 Alis Deason - "The Milky Way stellar halo out to 40 kpc: Squashed, broken but smooth", 2011MNRAS.416.2903D.








Page last updated: 3 November 2021 at 11:28